Top PLO official Erekat taken to an Israeli hospital due to Covid-19
Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat has been taken by ambulance to a hospital in Israel, more than a week after contracting the novel coronavirus.
Mr. Erekat, the secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), who tested positive earlier this month, was transferred from his home in the West Bank following a request by Palestinian officials.
Witnesses said the 65-year-old was on a stretcher when he was placed inside an Israeli ambulance outside his home.
In a statement on Sunday, the PLO said: “Following his contraction of Covid-19, and due to the chronic health problems he faces in the respiratory system, Dr. Erekat’s condition now requires medical attention in a hospital. He is currently being transferred to a hospital in Tel Aviv.”
Meanwhile, his brother Saber Erekat told AFP news agency: “His situation is not good.”
There is heightened concern over Erekat’s vulnerability to respiratory disease due to chronic health problems involving his respiratory system. In 2017, he underwent a lung transplant in the United States.
A proponent of a two-state solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Erekat has been a leading Palestinian voice in opposing Israel’s illegal settlement policy in territory it captured and occupied after the 1967 war.
To date, there have been 42,490 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus in the West Bank, including 381 related deaths.